The Janus decision is in and as expected it puts Public Employee Unions back 40 plus years, to say the least. Most of us have known for months that this day was coming but we have tried to stay optimistic and hope for the best. Well the best won’t do today.
I find myself asking this question, is this really the beginning of the end or just a new beginning?
The more I think about it, and trust me there have been plenty of sleepless nights that I’ve had plenty of time to think about it, the more I believe it truly is the latter.
We have been through this before as an International, as a District Council and even as a Local Union.
Our history as a Union has proven that the Laborers’ are a special breed. We are tough and resilient and most of all supportive of our Union and what it stands for.
From a consent decree at the International level, to trusteeships at both our District Council and our Local Union, we have stood together and made this a better, stronger, prouder Union than anyone ever expected.
Twenty years ago, if you would have told me we as a Union would be where we are today I would have said you were dreaming. A lot of people had the Laborers’ Union on its way out, no way to survive, but they were wrong. We survived, we rebuilt, we grew stronger and today we are on the forefront of everything Organized Labor stands for.
Just 15 years ago our Local Union went through the same disheartening scenario but through it all we stood strong, united in making sure our Local would survive, and it did.
And since then we have been hit with a financial crisis which could have resulted in massive permanent layoffs, a changing of a long standing administration on the City side and even three administration changes right within our own Local Union. But we as members know how important it is to stand together, keep focused, and keep moving forward in order to ensure that what we, and all of those who came before us worked so hard for, remains intact.
We have one of the highest pay and benefits packages of any Laborers’ Public Employee Unions in the Country. And there is one and only one reason for that, and it’s you the members of Local 1001.
Together we have expanded our jurisdiction, added hundreds of new jobs and promotions, given the opportunity to those who would otherwise not had the chance to become a member of our Union family the chance to, and we must and we will continue to do so, standing together as proud Union brothers and sisters.
I know this membership, I know your character, your devotion, your passion and your dedication to move this Union forward. I am confident that all of us will work together to keep our membership intact, to dismiss the anti-union propaganda that all of us will be hit with shortly and to stand together and stand strong because that is what Union is all about.
They say history repeats itself, we will survive, we will stand united and we will engage this new beginning and move forward and upward as we have always done.
Union Proud, Union Strong, Union Forever, LiUNA Local 1001 – Feel the Power.
My name is Bob Chianelli and I am a Proud 40 year LiUNA Local 1001 member.